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Summit Biolabs, Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine to Develop Saliva Tests for COVID, Head and Neck Cancer

Summit Biolabs announces strategic collaboration with Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine to develop and commercialize saliva liquid-biopsy tests for COVID-19 and for head and neck cancer

Author Kelsea Pieters | Publish Date October 14, 2020

What you need to know: Summit Biolabs, an early-stage molecular diagnostics company, is partnering with the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine at CU School of Medicine involving research, collaboration and development of saliva liquid-biopsy tests for early cancer detection and diagnosis of viral contagions such as COVID-19.

Summit Biolabs, Inc., an early-stage molecular diagnostics company specializing in saliva-based testing for COVID-19 and head & neck cancer, and the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine (CCPM) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus announced today a broad strategic collaboration involving research, development and commercialization of saliva liquid-biopsy tests for early cancer detection and diagnosis of COVID-19 and other viral contagions.  

The CCPM holds one of the largest research biobanks in the United States with clinical data from more than 8.7 million de-identified patient records and plans to integrate the data with personalized genomic information.  

“This partnership brings two innovative programs together to optimize COVID testing at a time when it’s desperately needed,” says Kathleen Barnes, Ph.D., Professor and Director of CCPM at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “Collaborations like this are crucial in moving research forward and advancing and expanding clinical testing to as many members of our community as possible. Working with Summit Biolabs, and leveraging technology developed by our colleagues here at the Anschutz Medical Campus, will help us achieve these goals and establish a non-invasive testing process that will benefit patients in Colorado and beyond.”

 

Summit Biolabs is developing breakthrough tests to improve the detection of COVID-19 and to advance the early detection of human cancers, including head & neck cancer, using simple, non-invasive saliva liquid-biopsy technology developed by Dr. Shi-Long Lu and colleagues at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Head & neck cancer has been scientifically overlooked, yet is medically important. Summit Biolabs’ research foundation and competency in head & neck cancer diagnosis enabled the company’s pivot to saliva-based testing for coronavirus, COVID-19.

 

"We are excited to collaborate with CCPM to develop and commercialize Summit Biolabs’ portfolio of developmental saliva or non-blood liquid-biopsy tests.” said Bob Blomquist, Chief Executive Officer at Summit Biolabs. “This collaboration broadens and strengthens Summit Biolabs’ ability to bring to market life-changing saliva liquid-biopsy tests that ultimately enable better treatment and improved outcomes for patients.”

 

About Summit Biolabs

Summit Biolabs is harnessing the power of saliva-based diagnostics to address critical challenges in COVID-19 and head & neck cancer testing. Founded on the discoveries of Dr. Shi-Long Lu, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Summit Biolabs is being spun out from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Summit Biolabs is pioneering early detection of head & neck cancer recurrence using a first of its kind saliva liquid-biopsy test, HNKlear. HNKlear is a proprietary, non-invasive saliva test that provides more effective, more accurate, and earlier detection of head and neck cancer recurrence than traditional diagnostic methods. Summit Biolabs is leveraging its core competencies in saliva-based molecular diagnostics and viral nucleic acid testing (i.e., oral oncogenic human papillomavirus detection) to diagnose COVID-19. Along with our clinical and laboratory partners, Summit Biolabs is developing the first comprehensive panel of highly-accurate saliva-based tests for COVID-19 infection, quantitation, and immune response. Summit Biolabs is headquartered in Aurora, Colorado. 

About the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine

The Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine (CCPM) is a collaboration of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, University of Colorado Health, and Children’s Hospital Colorado. It is multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted. Its programs encompass research, data analysis, clinical operations, genetic diagnostics, and educational activities.

CCPM’s mission is to advance the health of patients, families and communities by integrating patient health records and bioinformatics to understand the relationship between genetics, health, and disease and ultimately to return genetic test results that may improve health outcomes. The CCPM has developed a biospecimen repository with more than 150,000 UCHealth patients to date that reflects the diversity of the State of Colorado and the surrounding mountain and mid-west region to support a broad range of research, operational, and clinical quality improvement agendas. By integrating predictive, personalized, preventive, and participatory medicine into the existing healthcare delivery systems, CCPM will exploit the power of big data to educate the next generation of clinicians and bioinformaticians.

About the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is a world-class medical destination at the forefront of transformative science, medicine, education, and patient care. The campus encompasses the University of Colorado health professional schools, more than 60 centers and institutes, and two nationally ranked hospitals that treat more than 2 million adult and pediatric patients each year. Innovative, interconnected and highly collaborative, together we deliver life-changing treatments, patient care, professional training, and conduct world-renowned research powered by more than $550 million in research awards. For more information, visit www.cuanschutz.edu.